I just heard from the performance-preacher Reverend Billy, who with his Stop Shopping Choir is having an adventuresome trip across the UK — the “Golden Toads Resurrection Tour,” inspired by a charismatic and extinct species whose spirit implores us not to doom still more kinds of creatures to nothingness through climate change. Billy writes:
Our radical climate movement message is received by staring, thoughtful, troubled audiences. The apocalypse is not lost on them. The range of types in our audiences reveals how the basic feelings about climate change are among us all. Today we performed in a park in a middle-class neighborhood of Colchester, an old garrison town full of redcoats for so many years. There must have been conservative Tories, if only from habit, walking by our pavilion, where our secular gospel boomed out. We appeal to people to think about their children, for one thing. That is the most impactful argument that something must be done about the big banks. Then they enjoy our descriptions of play-acting extinct amphibians in the bank lobbies. In fact, the highlight of the tour so far is our bank action in Liverpool. Our extinct amphibians hopped and swam into the HSBC Bank there. The bank is notorious for its bad puns in airport jetways and its billions in fossil fuel investments.
As K-pop fans and Black organizers and artists are demonstrating, joyful, powerful movements draw more people in and reflect the kind of world we want to live in.
If soldiers train for armed combat, why wouldn’t activists train for toppling the political-economic structure that’s killing our chance for a just future? The stakes are just as high.
Uganda’s COVID-19 experience underscores the seemingly universal opportunism of authoritarians amidst crisis, as well as opportunities for resistance.